China demands probe into Aussies’ crimes in Afghanistan
China on Friday termed alleged war crimes by special Australian forces in war-torn Afghanistan a "hypocrisy" of those "who consider themselves as guardians of human rights and freedom".
"We are shocked by reports on the murder of Afghan civilians and prisoners by Australian special forces soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts in breach of international conventions and human conscience," China's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lijian Zhao said at a news conference in Beijing.
Beijing called for a "thorough investigation" and holding perpetrators accountable.
Australia's serving special forces members were implicated in the damning Afghanistan war crimes inquiry released by the country's Defense Ministry last week. At least 13 of the soldiers have received termination notices.
The Australian soldiers have been accused of being involved in the killing of 39 Afghan civilians.
"These reports point to the hypocrisy of some western countries who like to consider themselves as guardians of human rights and freedom," China's foreign ministry spokesman said.
"Instead of pointing their meddling fingers at others, they should first reflect on their own problems and stop political manipulation."
The statement demanding probe came amid faltering bilateral relations between Beijing and Canberra.
Two sides have witnessed relations slipping down after Australia joined calls to investigate origins of the novel coronavirus which was first reported in China's Wuhan city last December and has since spread across the globe infecting over 61.11 million people with more than 1.43 million deaths.
Turkish and Afghan officials lambasted the crimes committed against Afghan civilians and have demanded stern action against the accused.